Heavy Rains Blamed for Seven Deaths
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) _ Three days of nearly non-stop rain flooded Rio’s slum suburbs and caused damage in hillside communities, leaving seven dead and 1,000 homeless, civil defense officials said Wednesday.
Civil defense chief Edson Freitas said the seven were swept away by floodwaters in the streets or were buried beneath collapsed buildings.
Police spokesman Paulo Damazio said police helicopters rescued 75 people from rooftops, including a mother and her three children.
Heavy rains which began early Monday blocked highways, including the main road into the center of Rio, and closed local airports.
Floodwaters turned whole sections of flatland around Rio into lakes. The waters began to recede Wednesday, but forecasts were for more rain Thursday.